Cover photo for James B. Higgins's Obituary
James B. Higgins Profile Photo

James B. Higgins

January 24, 1933 — June 19, 2024

Vanderbilt, formerly of Johannesburg

James B. Higgins

James Ballantyne Higgins, 91 of Vanderbilt, passed away peacefully after a long journey with dementia, on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

 Born on January 24, 1933, in Lincoln Park, Michigan, James was the son of Peter and Nellie (Halfpenny) Higgins.

 After graduating from high school, James served honorably in the United States Marine Corps from 1952-1954, during the Korean War.

He worked in a butcher shop, was a Fuller Brush salesman, then joined National Life and Accident Insurance Company where he accomplished being the #3 agent in sales for the nation one year in the 1960’s. He became a staff manager with the company before embarking on his next venture. In 1969, he purchased the Green River Store, 6 miles north of Mancelona. 

James also served on the Antrim County Planning Commission and the Antrim County Commission on Aging. He was also a volunteer with the Antrim County Department of Human Services for over nine years as a driver, driving just 8 miles short of 300,000 miles.

 Along with many other interests, James enjoyed hunting, fishing, and traveling, once taking a 15-week vacation on 12 different trains.

He is survived by his children, Jay (Debbie) Higgins of Boyne City, Chris Higgins of Indian River, Kelly (Taeko) Higgins of Eugene, OR and Beth Higgins of Indian River; stepchildren, Judy Cubby, and Terry Bailey, both of Farmington, Maine; grandchildren, Melanie (Jason) Payne, Nicole (Teddy) Smigiel, Jenner Higgins, Kenna Higgins, Amy (Nathan) Sheagley, Donnie Cubby, and Leanne (Aaron) Cubby; and great grandchildren, Jaxon and Ellington Payne.

He was preceded in death by his only brother, Neil Higgins.

The family wishes to thank Danielle and Wayne Green for providing excellent care to their father over the past 7+ years.

In keeping with his wishes, James’ family will remember him privately. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James B. Higgins, please visit our flower store.


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